Jealousy And Insecurity From A Previous Relationship Is Interfering...Okay, "an innocent man" is a bit over-the-top, but I'm a Billy Joel fan and the song lyrics fit my problem.
Basically I have a girlfriend (together over 9 months) who has some insecurity and jealousy issues from a previous relationship. This issue reared its ugly head in December when a friend of my girlfriend was looking at photos of my kids on my Facebook page. My girlfriend hates Facebook (another residual from her previous relationship) and was looking for something to get upset about (I did not know this at the time). She all of a sudden turned cold toward me and we all went to dinner together. I took her aside to ask what was wrong and she just started sternly telling me that I was "such a liar" and was saying things like, "You KNOW what I'm upset about".
She finally explained that she saw a "glamour" photo of some woman on my Facebook page (there was NO such photo) and that she was embarrassed in front of her friend. She was a totally different person the rest of the night and late, late that night (circa 2am) started to calm down. I showed her my Facebook page and photos again and asked her to point out the photo she saw. It wasn't there. My guess is that she saw an ad (she's not computer savvy in the least) or a photo on her friend's page and assumed the worst.
That was the beginning of it all. Since then, she has freaked out on me for not returning a text message fast enough, her getting my voice mail, her calling and I'm at a gas station ("Why are you at a gas station? You said you would be at home!"), me taking a business call (I'm self-employed) during business hours on a week day...the list goes on and on.
We have been going to a counselor for a few weeks now and the counselor is very aware that my girlfriend has previous relationship trust issues. Last week the therapist asked why she doesn't trust me. The answer was, "because he's male". Great.
The therapist told my girlfriend that the bottom line is that if either of us is going to cheat, we are going to cheat. She said that the best way to deal with it is to have a pact together that if either of us is in a place where we feel that we need/want to go outside the relationship that we give the other the courtesy of letting them know before we act. Totally fine by me - neither of us is the cheating type (I've been cheated on by a spouse). She agreed.
I want to also point out that my girlfriend has a very simple, non-complicated lifestyle. She has one child (he's 16), a simple job where she gets calls from clients, shows up and does her work and goes home (she's a hair stylist) and she has only a handful of friends. I'm a bit more complicated. I'm very ADD, I operate four different small businesses, I have five kids (one is a 5 year old girl) and (this one drives her nuts) I'm the lead singer in a popular local rock/r&b band. She's NOT used to being with someone who has lots of friends (male and female), clients calling all day, text messages, etc.
Once I discovered in December how bad her jealousy/trust thing was, I did stop talking to TOTALLY PLATONIC friendships with women with whom I occasionally spoke to. I am totally focused on my girlfriend, our kids, my businesses and that's it, but it just keeps getting crazy. She gets upset if I'm just chatting with her about nothing important and a client calls that I have to speak to. This is during business hours, mind you.
So, last night something happened and I'd like feedback on how I reacted. I am not here to profess my innocence, regardless of the title of the experience room. Yesterday I got a Facebook message from some woman that claimed to have gone to high school with me. I'm not saying she didn't, but I don't remember her. I sent her a message back telling her that I didn't remember her name and that since she didn't have a photo on her profile (she had just signed up for Facebook), I couldn't be sure. That was it. We had over a dozen or so mutual friends from high school on Facebook, so I added her when she sent a friend request. No biggie.
Well, I have my cell phone number in my Facebook profile (I've since deleted it) and WHILE I'M SITTING WITH MY GIRLFRIEND, a text from an unknown cell phone comes through. I pick my phone up (my girlfriend's eyes are ON me) and see that this dumb girl texts me a photo of her!!!! Of course I PANIC in my head but try and play it off. I've done nothing wrong, but I know my girlfriend and there is NO WAY OUT OF THIS for me and I freakin' know it. So in a moment of panic, I totally lied to her and said it was from a guy on Facebook. She asked to see it and I freaked out and "accidentally" deleted the text. I told her that I "accidentally" deleted the text and of course she didn't believe me and now we are in a full on argument and she calls me a liar (which I understand is technically correct in this circumstance) and how she can't trust me, etc., etc.
I HATE that I have that reaction, but she's so ON ME about things that are simply not real and not a threat to our relationship that when something comes up like this, I panic. I suppose you would have to have gone through some of these scenarios to understand why I panic (it's not some drama panic, by the way, it's just a moment of "great. there is NO way to explain this one and I DON'T want to ruin our evening"). Once I had my phone plugged into my computer and for some reason my girlfriend's text didn't alert me. I was expecting her call at 10pm, so at 10:20 I called her. She freaked on me - "Where were you? I texted you and you didn't respond. Is somebody there? What's going on? I can't be in a relationship like this..." It went on and on. She just went into a tailspin.
So, that's enough info for now. Any questions or suggestions? Should I have been straight with her last night and taken the expected "I KNEW you were doing something. There's more to this story you're not telling me.", etc.?